The Partner Network syndicates authorized content on behalf of Excelsior College’s corporate and academic partner organizations. This post originally appeared on Straighterline blog.
Goal setting is critical to succeeding in college – at any age. For adult learners, setting clear educational goals provides the motivation and the roadmap to get the degree and career you want. Here are 4 questions you should ask yourself to help set the goals you need to achieve education success.
Question 1: What Are Your Priorities?
You may have competing priorities. Ask yourself how important taking college courses, earning your degree, and changing your career is compared to your other goals and rank them. Your individual goals may be important, but your resources may be limited. For many students, achieving educational goals is the key to unlocking the door to achieving other life goals.
Question 2: When Do You Want To Earn Your Degree?
Having a specific time frame for when you want to earn your degree will set your educational plans in motion. Need to decide where to go to school? Give yourself a week to get the admissions requirements for all the schools you are considering. Once you know the start dates, and admission requirements, you can make your plans.
Be sure to make a definitive decision around when you want to enroll in a college degree program. For example, do you plan on enrolling next month, next semester or next year? Plan accordingly. If you’re ready to get started today, you can always accelerate your path to your college degree by completing required college courses online before enrolling, and while enrolled, in your degree program.
Question 3: What Are Your Resources?
Going back to school will require time, money, and support. Align your educational goals with your resources. If you need to work while going back to school, your time might be limited. If this is the case, find a degree program that can accommodate your schedule, not the other way around. When you start out, you may find that you are better off enrolling in individual college courses on a monthly basis rather than taking on a full course load.
Question 4: How Do Know If You Are On Track?
Earning a college degree, in many ways, is just completing a series of milestones. You know you are on track when you consistently hit your education milestones both big and small. On a daily basis, it could be logging into your online college courses for at least an hour. On a weekly basis, it might be handing in your homework on time. On a monthly basis, it may be passing quizzes and exams.
If you consistently reach your smaller milestones, your bigger ones will start piling up, including completing required college courses, earning college credits, finishing semesters, and ultimately, earning your college degree.
Experts say in order for goals to be useful, they need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-oriented. Create useful educational goals by asking yourself the right questions. When you do, you’ll be on the right track to set your educational goals, and career dreams, in motion.